MYRTLE BEACH, South Carolina — The Myrtle Beach Sports Center is scheduled to open its doors in early 2015. The facility is being developed, with the help of the Sports Facility Advisory (SFA), to attract new visitors and support the local economy. Under SFA’s management, the facility is expected to have a $30 million economic impact for Myrtle Beach within the first five years of its opening.
According to Dev Pathik, CEO of SFA, sports tourism is optimal for existing tourism destinations that offer affordable hotel rates, wide-ranging recreation amenities, dining and entertainment options — which, he said, all happen to be touchstones of Myrtle Beach. Collectively known as the “Grand Strand,” the Myrtle Beach area stretches 60 miles along the South Carolina coast and is a seaside haven known for its family-oriented atmosphere. The area receives more than 14 million visitors annually.
While competition in the Southeast for sporting events is intense, with several sports complexes in the region, Pathik says that Myrtle Beach is a standout due to its existing lure as a holiday hot spot. The Myrtle Beach Sports Center already has more than 20 events scheduled to be held at the facility in its first year.
“Myrtle Beach is part of a thriving trend designed to not only attract, but also increase visitor spending — amateur athletes travel with their families to play sports, but these families also want other forms of entertainment during their downtime between play,” said Pathik. “Myrtle Beach has those amenities that families want — it’s an ideal market for a facility like this.”
The 100,000-square-foot Myrtle Beach Sports Center is being built to cater to tournament play, with hardwood floors that can be used as eight basketball courts or 16 volleyball courts. There also will be a cafe, a retail area and team rooms.
As a private consulting firm and management service, SFA is responsible for booking tournaments and events, as well as managing facilities to support its government clients’ objectives. SFA also assists public-sector clients in identifying and negotiating private-sector investment and/or private-sector use of facilities.